Qualcomm announced a board revamp, stating the appointment of an independent chairman is “in the best interests of the company and its shareholders” as it reaches an “important juncture” in its history.
Paul Jacobs, who was CEO from July 2005 to March 2014, is standing down as executive chairman, although he will continue to serve on the board. He is the son of Qualcomm co-founder Irwin Jacobs. With the executive chairman position discontinued, existing independent director Jeffrey Henderson is to become non-executive chairman. He joined the Qualcomm board in 2016.
In a statement, Tom Horton, lead director, said: “We are focused on maximising stockholder value, and will consider all options to achieve that objective, as we seek to move Qualcomm forward by closing the acquisition of NXP, strengthening our licensing business, and capitalising on the enormous 5G opportunity before us.”
Of course, Qualcomm’s bigger issue at the moment is the unwelcome attention of Broadcom, which is pressing on with its efforts to acquire the mobile tech giant. Qualcomm is also embroiled in a messy legal spat with Apple.
Bloomberg mooted that following the attention from Broadcom, “it’s clear a large swathe of Qualcomm holders are fed-up with the current management and looking for a change”.
While the change of role for Jacobs does mean there is a difference at the top, his seat is still being filled by an existing Qualcomm director.
Separately, Qualcomm extended the offer period for its NXP bid to 16 March. Shareholders representing 19 per cent of outstanding NXP shares had tendered by the end of 8 March.